Mothball smell - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
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Our new to us Scamp is free of mildew smell, but the previous owner must have purchased a bulk box of mothballs at Costco, 'cause the fabric cushions and foam smell heavily of them.

I removed all the mothballs, and when I get the chance I'm going to rip-out the carpeting.

I have removed one cover from the cushion and washed it then dried it with a fabric sheet. It smells better, but you can still smell the mothballs when walking into the room. I febreezed the foam cushion, with a little success.

I'd like to salvage the cushion covers as they're in good shape otherwise. Any tips on what to wash them in? Also, any tips on cleaning the foam other than soap, water, and lots of squishing them out on a sunny day?

Also, any ideas on de-oderizing the rat-fur is appreciated. It's in amazingly good shape, but I'm worried about the smell.

My next experiment with the cushion covers will be Penguin Wash, which is used to get odors out of 'technical'/wicking fabrics.


Thanks,

Todd
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
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Todd, we washed the covers and foam when we got the trailer last June,my wife washed the covers in the machine with regular soap twice as they smelled aswell.The foam however took weeks to dry, even though we left them in the blazing sun all weekend long. I brought them in and they dried eventually, but i t may have been trouble if we needed them the following weekend.Good luck,I wiil watch this post for any deoderizing ideas aswell.


Brad
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:23 AM   #3
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Getting moth ball smell out of a camper or a car is a very difficult task. I'm a classic car nut and I have stuck my head into cars at Sunday car shows and almost lost it based on the moth ball smell. Why people do this I'll never know ( I understand, mice!!!), however, there's got to be a better way like fabric sheets, etc. Good luck, i know what you're dealing with your camper! Ron
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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I'll tell you what I'd try but I don't have any experience actually doing it. However, having said that, mothballs are made of a chemical that sublimes into the air (goes from solid to gas directly.) So I would park the trailer in the sun and let it get nice and warm, at the same time setting up a fan so that it blew in one end (or side) and out the other, and just let it sit as long as it took. The idea is to let the chemical vaporize and then blow it out of the trailer.

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Old 11-13-2007, 06:42 AM   #5
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I'll tell you what I'd try but I don't have any experience actually doing it. However, having said that, mothballs are made of a chemical that sublimes into the air (goes from solid to gas directly.) So I would park the trailer in the sun and let it get nice and warm, at the same time setting up a fan so that it blew in one end (or side) and out the other, and just let it sit as long as it took. The idea is to let the chemical vaporize and then blow it out of the trailer.

Bobbie

We removed the cushions yesterday and I've washed the covers twice on heavy dirt, pre-wash, extra rinse, etc. etc. They do smell better. I used Penguin Wash which seemed to attack the smell better than the regular Tide I tried on the first cushion cover. I also dried them in the dryer (I'm a clothesline fanatic, so it pains me to use it) for that exact reason of encouraging the sublimation process described above. They do smell better, but may need some more washing. The foam may be a lost cause, though.

We removed all the fabric items from the trailer yesterday, and I ripped up all the carpet (thankfully, a quick and easy job) so the only place left for the smell to hide is the rat-fur. If we get a 'decent' day up here in New England we'll open the trailer, put in a fan, and febreeze the heck out of it. It did smell better yesterday, but that may have just been the bleach from cleaning hiding the other oders.

If I get a definitive solution, I will post.

Todd
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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Two things to try. Charcoal. Crush up some briquetes and put them in a pie plate on the table. Also, apple cider vineger. Here's a quote from Taylor Kissinger regarding a mold smell in their home.

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We bought an old house across the river from you Shannen, It had been repoed and had sat closed up for a number of years, we had a mold problem We used bleach soap and water and then after airing we sat containers of Apple Cider Vinegar in each room That did the trick I was told to be sure and use only apple cider vinegar. Something about the vinegar changing the ph in the rooms. It was cheap and it worked Also besure if you use bleach to not mix other chemicals with it I just used a bit of dish soap. I think Tlex is mostly bleach.
Soak cotton balls in Apple Cider Vinegar.... yep I've heard that before!
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:06 AM   #7
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I don't suppose it would help to wash the rat fur in tomato juice?

Okay, now I'll go to my room....
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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I don't suppose it would help to wash the rat fur in tomato juice?

Okay, now [b]I'll go to [b]my room....
Mary-
Going to your room is to lenient, you're going my trailer!

On the food point, a relative recommended boiling a pan of coffee to get rid of the scent. He said that is what they do in apartments when they find a recently deceased person and that it gets rid of the smell. Well, I boiled some coffee in the trailer (also a chance to test the stove) and it just smelled like a Starbuck's in a nursing home for the day.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:24 AM   #9
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Well, don't know how you'd get that out, but I was curious if they work.
Do you get any moths inside when camping?
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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Well, don't know how you'd get that out, but I was curious if they work.
Do you get any moths inside when camping?
The trailer is new to me and we haven't taken it camping yet, so I can't comment on whether it works or not.

The smell was so strong, I assume they were fighting off Mothra...

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:11 PM   #11
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The trailer is new to me and we haven't taken it camping yet, so I can't comment on whether it works or not.

The smell was so strong, I assume they were fighting off Mothra...

I have found burning candles will remove odors. Don't leave them unattended though! worth a try!
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:36 PM   #12
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There's a product called "Nature's Miracle" which we recommend for pet odors in carpet (I'm a veterinarian & an expert on stinky smells!) I wonder if you could mix it with water & spray on the rat fur to help with the odor? It's not labeled to use that way but won't stain any fabrics, at least.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:16 AM   #13
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oh another thought. Contact a company that deals with disaster recovery... like after a house fire. And find out what they use to get rid of the smokey odor. I know Kilz has been recommended as a primer for paint, but surely there's something for foam and fabrics, since they deal with odors in carpets/drapery, etc. which might help with the foam.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:08 PM   #14
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ANTI ICKY POO might work. It says on the bottle that it removes odors such as urine feces, vomit, dead body and others from carpets, upholstery, tile, cement walls and clothes. Anti Icky Poo is an industrial strength live bacteria/enzyme solution. I use it in my dog area and we also use it at the Vet clinic I work at. It has worked wonders on the rugs at work after a dog goes potty on them.
You can check it out yourself at
WWW MISTERMAX.COM or call the company direct for more information at 1-800-745-1671

I used moth balls one yr too on our old pop up years ago. The camper stunk all summer and into the next summer. I sold the camper. Oh, I also used them in a shed out back. They did NOT keep the mice out of the shed. Mothballs are a complete waste in my opinion. There has got to be a better way to get rid of those mice.

Good Luck!
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